CBM Drills Journalists To Mainstream Disability In Crisis Reporting

Comfort Musa drills participants on Humanitarian photography

Comfort Musa drills participants on Humanitarian photography

The Christian Blind Mission, CBM, has urged 26 journalists, who participated in a recent seminar, to consider persons living with disabilities when reporting.

The two-day training seminar held in Douala under the theme: “Disability Inclusive Humanitarian Action in Health and protection sector for IDPs and Host Communities in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, Cameroon”.

It is coming approximately five years since the start of the socio-political crisis in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, which has hugely affected the population and especially in the socio-economic and socio-cultural domains.

Most of those hardly taken into consideration while analysing the effects of the crisis are people living with disabilities. As a result, CBM is changing the narrative by starting with Journalists who are mostly on the ground to report.

The main aspect of the training was to educate the journalists on the concept of disability, which at times some societies view as witchcraft or superstitious beliefs. The journalists were also drilled on the type of words to use when reporting on disability issues.

For instance, instead of saying “disabled people/persons”, say “persons with disabilities”. This is to avoid stigmatisation and avoid demoralising them. The lesson from the teaching was that, irrespective of a person’s social condition, people should respect the human being in the person first.

Persons with disabilities, especially women with disabilities, have suffered more in the crisis since they are the most vulnerable.

This internal and external displacement of persons with disabilities makes it difficult for them to adapt to the new environment and set a new coping lifestyle.

Therefore, CBM, as one of its humanitarian activities, decided to train 26 journalists to be inclusive in crisis reporting and to make their environment accessible by including persons with disabilities in their programmes.

They were also drilled on how to write inclusive articles for the website and how to design information in pictures.

Also, the media personnel were lectured on humanitarian photography and terminologies on how to report on persons living with disabilities.

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